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iCulturalDiplomacy Tutorial and How To Use
This is just a very basic tutorial on how to use our wiki. If you know what you are doing, you are kindly invited to expand it. Before you start creating and editing pages, we kindly ask you to carefully read our Legal Terms and our Rules and Guidelines.

Basic Tutorial[edit]

iCulturalDiplomacy is a wiki – wiki is a Hawaiian word meaning “fast” or “quick” and in computer lingo it is used to describe a web application which allows people to add, modify, or delete content in collaboration with others in a simple and fast way. Text is usually written using a simplified markup-language, which we will explain in a while. It is a simple language, but can get complicated easily, so you’ll probably have to get back to this document from time to time to check how things are done. Any comments or ideas regarding this tutorial are welcome – please use our discussion pages for this.

The looks[edit]

Our webpage looks like Wikipedia, right? That is because both platforms are using exactly the same program, which is an open-source software called MediaWiki. They also have huge and long tutorials about any aspect of it, so you might also try to look over there if you can’t find the answer you are looking for in our tutorial. As users of Wikipedia, you surely are used to read articles on it and also know how a lot of things work and look like – so keep Wikipedia in mind when using our web and you’ll be right almost 100% of the time.

Up until now we haven’t implemented any translations, that’s why you won’t see the whole list of languages that Wikipedia usually shows on its sidebar. Another main difference is the social media bar that you can find at the top of every page and on the sidebar. This is self-explanatory: if you want to share the page you are looking at in any of the supported social media platforms (which right now are around 230), just click on the share button, look for the platform you want to post the website, click again and you’re done. You might, of course, be prompted to log in or register into the social platform before being able to post the article.

The Main Page[edit]

As in every website, this is where you land when you look for our URL on your browser. In our case, it shows links to a number of themes and pages in our wiki. This might change with the time as we grow. Much of the functionality you’ll see in this page is present in every other page in our wiki – and that’s why it is a perfect place to start showing you how to do things.

Creating an Account and Logging in[edit]

Our wiki is readable for every user of the internet, but if you want to create a page, edit an existing one, add links, or discuss about a theme or page, you have to create an account.

The process is simple – on the upper right corner you’ll see a series of links: if you are not logged in, you’ll see your I.P., a link to the Talk/Discussion page of that I.P. (we’ll get to those later), a link to create an account and last, one to log in. Logically enough, if you click on “Create Account” you will be redirected to page where you can do this.

The first thing you’ll see might seem banal and stupid, but it is one of the most secure and useful CAPTCHAS ever created. A CAPTCHA is a widget or small program that ascertains if a user is a bot, a program used to spam or introduce malware and malicious code into other websites, or a real person. A bot usually has a lot of problems recognizing images, but are sometimes capable of making out letters and numbers – this one uses images of cats and dogs and asks the user to mark only the cats or only the dogs. This is impossible for a bot, but a real stupid task for a human. This CAPTCHA has been implemented for security reasons and to avoid spammers and bots infesting our web.

Once you are done marking all cats or dogs, you can choose a username and a password, as well as an email (It is very important that you send us your email! It is the only way we will have to contact you in case we need to). Once you’re done, click on “create your account”, and that’s it – you are in and will be able to edit and create pages. Please note that some pages (including the Main Page) are only editable by Managers of the website. If you want us to give us feedback about a page you cannot edit or would like us to do any changes on it, please use the Discussion page for it, which will be explained next.

If you already have an account and want to start working on our wiki, just click on “Log in” and log in using your username and password as you would on any other website.

The Discussion Page[edit]

If you are a registered user, then you would be able to create and edit discussion or Talk-Pages. This is done by simply clicking on the “Discussion” Tab that is present on each page.

Once you click it, you will be redirected to the Talk page if it already exists. If it doesn’t, you will be prompted to create it: simply write what you want to write in there, save the page, and you are good to go. The discussion or Talk page is used, as you can infer from its name, to Discuss about the page and the topic of the page you are reading. This is a VERY important part of our wiki. We kindly ask every user that would like to edit a page to firstly start a discussion about the changes he wants to introduce. If nobody answers in a couple of days, he has received a tacit permission to edit the page. If her/his changes are accepted by the community, she/he can then edit the page accordingly. If the majority of users taking part of the discussion don’t accept the changes, they will be not implemented.

As in every discussion, things can get heated. Try to remain calm, use arguments, and never insult or disqualify other users. If you are experiencing any trouble or think some red line has been crossed, don’t hesitate and write us an email so we can take a look into things and act accordingly. It is always a good idea to read our Rules of Conduct and our Legal Terms before posting anything. VERY IMPORTANT: Always sign your comments with your username – this is done in two ways: you can use the four tildes and the wiki syntax will automatically add your name and date of comment OR you can use the signature button in the toolbar above the editing textbox.

Use Four tildes  ~~~~ and you'll get a signature like this "USERNAME(talk) 09:55, 8 April 2014 (CEST)" 

There are many ways to comment and respond to commentaries, if you feel comfortable with it you can always check MediaWiki's Tutorials to see how comments should be posted.

This is your first contact until now with the wiki Syntax – don’t be afraid, you’ll be seeing these funny signs a lot. These are actually telling the system what to do, or if something is bold, something is a header, or if this is a link. In this case, these four tildes are telling the system “please place my signature here”. We will start learning this symbols and what they mean real soon: don’t worry, they are simple and most of them you don’t have to write yourself, the program will do this for you.

Once you are done writing, save the page by clicking on the SAVE PAGE button at the bottom of the page or at the PUBLISH button on the top right. (The only difference is that the Publish button will pop up a window asking you to confirm this and offering you the possibility of summarizing what you just did).

If you are editing a page and see these funny symbols in the text NEVER CHANGE THEM. This could cause formatting to disappear, links to stop working, or create many other problems.

The Read/Edit/View History Tabs[edit]

On the upper right corner, under the Log-In links, you can see three more tabs – read, edit, and view history. In some pages that are protected for editing, the Edit tab will not be there.

Logically, the three tabs are used for what their names are: the read tab, which is by default there, is used to read the article that you are browsing. The Edit tab is using for editing an existing page (we’ll get to ALL that you can do in the edit page a bit later) and the View History Tab shows you a list of the corrections and changes done to that page since its creation. This will be important if you are named Administrator (which in MediaWiki are called Bureaucrats) and have to PATROL a page, or check what other users have been editing in order to prevent misinformation, vandalism and spam.

The Search Bar[edit]

This should also be self-explanatory, if you type in a term, idea or whatever, you will look for it in our wiki. It has an autocomplete function, so take a look to see if the page you are looking for appears while typing. Click on the word, the looking glass or just hit enter to look for the word.

Three things might happen:

  • If there is a page with the exact name you were looking for you will be immediately redirected to it.
  • If the expression you were looking for doesn't match 100% the title of one of our pages, you will get a list of possible hits – Pages which contain that expression in the title or in the text of the page. You will also be asked if you want to create a new page with the expression you looked for as a title.
  • If the expression does not exist, the system will tell you so and ask you if you want to CREATE a new page with that expression as title.

And this is exactly how you create new pages in any wiki: look for the term you want to create, and if it doesn't exist, create it.

Creating a new page[edit]

If you want to create a new page, just look for it. If it doesn't exist, you will be asked if you want to create it. This is distinctively shown by a RED link. If you see any text in red this will means that this page does not exist and you can create it. Click on the red link and you will be redirected to the Editor. Basically, editing and creating a page are the same thing, so all that you read in this tutorial will be useful for both.

When you create a page, please keep in mind the following:

  • Don’t create a page for a term that already exists. If the term you are looking for is already on the wiki, edit it, or discuss with the community about possible changes.
  • Check your spelling!: you can always change the name of the page later on, but it would be good if you check it before actually creating the page
  • If you are creating an entry for a person, please write the Surname and then the First Name (Adorno, Theodor; and NOT Theodor Adorno) – this is done for indexing reasons
  • If you are creating a page for an Institution, please write its name and then their acronym in brackets (as in: United Nations (UN); and not UN United Nations) – also for indexing reasons.

The editor is pretty self-explanatory. You type something in and if you save the page, that text will be there. It looks similar to a Word Text Editor, with the only major difference that if you make something bold or italic, for example, you won’t see it happening immediately, but you will see symbols appearing at each side of the word or words you have marked – once you save the page, these will disappear but you will see their effects on the screen (ditto: the word will be bold). These Symbols are what we call Wiki Syntax, and you will learn to recognize them pretty fast.

The editor has three main tabs, Wikitext (where the text of the page will be written), Preview (which shows you how the text is going to be shown) and Changes (which shows you the changes and minor edits done in the last few minutes).

The Wikitext Tab is where you will be spending most of your time, so we’ll concentrate on that.

The first one is for BOLD text. There are two ways of using it:

  • If you click on the button you will see this Text-snippet appear exactly on the place where you cursor was:
'''Bold text''' // Change the text within the three speech marks, 
and the word or words you want to appear in BOLD  will be so once you save the page. 
  • You can also simply mark the words you want to be BOLD and then click on the button.

The next button is the Italics button. It works exactly like the BOLD button, only the Wiki Syntax are different:

  • If you click on the button you will see this Text-snippet appear exactly on the place where you cursor was:
''Italic text'' // Change the Text within the two speech marks, 
and the word or words you want to appear in Italics will be so once you save the page
  • You can also simply mark the words you want to be in Italics and then click on the button.
  • Of course, you can also put thing in Bold and Italics – you proceed exactly the same way, but you will need FIVE speech marks.
  • The next Button is the Signature button. It was explained before: it adds, to the exact place where your cursor is, the Signature Syntax. You will be only using this in Discussion and Talk pages.
Use Four tildes  ~~~~ and you'll get a signature like this "USERNAME(talk) 09:55, 8 April 2014 (CEST)" 

The next button is the LINK button. This will allow you to put a link in the website. There are basically two types of links in a Wiki: the ones that redirect to another page of the wiki are called internal links, and the ones that refer to other websites are called External links. We will talk about linking a bit later, but for now let’s see the basic functions of this button.

  • When you click the Button, a window will pop-up, allowing you to write, in the first field, an URL (used for external links) or a Word (used for internal links). This field autocompletes, so if you are want to look for a page INSIDE the wiki where you want to link, just type it in and it will appear underneath it. If not, just paste the URL.
  • The second field allows you to specify which text should appear as clickable. This is self explanatory: OF course, you could have a link like this but it doesn’t look particularly good on a website. It is much easier to link a word like Recipe and let the long URL reside on that word. This second field is used to do this.
  • Internal Links are opened in the same tab, links to external pages open in a new tab. We kindly ask you to check the to the Adding Links part of this tutorial to learn more about how to correct link to internal and external sources.

The next button is the Insert Image button. Once again, its function should be clear, but let’s go for a better explanation of it:

  • You can only add pictures that are UPLOADED to the server. That means, if you want to upload a personal picture, or something you found on the internet, first you have to upload it to our server. This is done via the “Upload Files” in our Sidebar. Please refer to the “Adding Pictures” part of this tutorial for more info on how to do this, as well as to our Legal Terms and Rules of Conduct about uploading Copyrighted Material.
  • When you click on the Add Image Button, a window will pop up. In the first field you have to specify the Filename of the image that you want to add. A FALSE NAME will cause that the picture won’t show at all, so be careful with blank spaces, underscores and endings (a .jpg and a .png might be the same for you, but not for the system!)
  • On the second field you can add a Caption, a legend or text explanation on what the image is.
  • The Size input field allows you to input the size you want the picture to be shown. BY default, the picture will be shown at its original size, so if you try to show a picture that is 3200px wide keep in mind that is going to take the whole of the page. We encourage our users to use a 400px width for every image – this is achieved by writing 400 or 400px in this field.
  • The Align drop-down menu is also self-explanatory: you can align your pictures to the left, to the right or center them. We encourage our users to align their images to the roght, because aligning them to the center or the left will cause text breaks.
  • The Format drop-down menu allows you to specify four different types of format. We encourage our users to use the Thumbnail format, which will easily and correctly rescale the picture and put in on a frame with a caption. Framed will add a frame to the picture but won’t allow you to rescale it; frameless will let you post the picture without any kind of frame and allow you to resize it; none is like frameless but won’t let you use captions.
  • The Picture will appear on the same spot as your cursor is – so keep this in mind when placing the photo. Usually, it will take some minor edits to avoid text-breaking and good layout.

The next button will allow you to put References, or footnotes, in your text:

  • Put your cursor at the end of the word or sentence you would like to add a footnote to, and click on the button.
  • A window will pop-up with only a field. Paste in this field the TEXT of the footnote you want to add: it might be a book reference, a link to an external page, or whatever you would like to add, and click on the insert button.
  • You will see that the text of the footnote, contrary to what you are probably used to, won’t appear at the bottom of the page, but exactly on the place your cursor was and marked by the tags
 Use the tags <ref>TEXT OR LINK YOU WANT TO REFERENCE</ref> to mark something as a reference
  • You can add as many references as you would like to this way, the system will automatically number them.
  • Here comes the tricky part: you have to tell the systems WHERE, in the page, you want to place the references. We urge our users to put all references at the end of the page, under a Heading called References. To do this, you have to add a tag on the place you want your references to appear: the tag is . Translated on WikiSyntax, a typical reference should look like this on the edit page:
Use this syntax to add the number and references you are adding
== References  ==
<references />
  • To see how this works, try looking/editing a page containing references.

Apart from this buttons, there are three Drop-Down Menus, which will activate different functions.

  • Help will activate a legend of ALL of the WikiSyntax. Check it from time to time in case you see something you don’t know or something is not working as it should.
  • Special Characters will allow you to insert in the text Special Characters such as extended and different alphabets, mathematical signs and the like.
  • The Advance menu will activate the formatting tools: different Headings, dotted or numbered lists, include line breaks, make the font bigger or smaller, including a table… Some of this is self-explanatory, other things (like tables or galleries) are more complicated and advanced and you probably won't be needing them. If you do please ask the community or take a look at the MediaWiki Tutorials.


Headings are used to separate different parts of a page and make them navigable. If a page has three or more Headings included, it will automatically generate a Table of Contents to let you jump to the different sections of an article.

Also, a Heading works as a sub-folder in a text, so if you click on the Edit button that you see at the right of the Heading, you will be able to edit ONLY the text corresponding to that Heading, which is very useful when editing and creating long texts.

There are two ways of creating a Heading, the same as happened with the bold and italics button:

  • you can choose a heading type form the drop-down menu), click on it and this text snippet will appear; change the text on it and that will be the Text that is displayed as a heading
  • Mark the text you want to appear as a heading, choose a heading type, click on it, and it will be transformed into a heading when you save the page.

Creating a Category[edit]

Categories work the same way a Folder would work on a hard drive. This is the way we can assign pages to a certain theme, like on the Cultural Diplomacy Dictionary – all the definitions contained on the dictionary are assigned to this category, and that is the reason why we can browse them and see them all ordered alphabetically when we search for the category.

Creating a category is very easy: you do it exactly the same way you create a page, only you add before the name of the category this syntax “Category:”. Let’s do it with an example.

If you want to create a category with the name 70's Music, you go to the search bar and you type in:

Category:70's Music

And hit enter. As it happened with normal pages, if the category exist you will be redirected to it, if it doesn't, the system will ask if you want to create it by showing you a red link. Click on it, add text if you want to (in our example, it could be: “This is a list of records and musician of the 1970's”) and save it. Voilà, the Category is there!

When you create a Category from scratch, it will be empty, exactly as it happens when you create a new folder in a hard drive. You now have to ASSIGN pages to that category. This is done by adding a very simple line of WikiSyntax to the page you want to assign. This line is:


It's simple: the name of the Category with two square brackets at the start and at the end. Let's get back at our example.

You have a Page about the Bee Gees, and you want it to appear on the Category we just created for 70s Music. This is what has to be done:

  • You go to the page for of the Bee Gees and click on edit
  • You scroll to the very bottom of the page (actually it doesn't matter where you do it, but putting them at the end will help other users to find the categories easily)
  • You type in the line:
[[Category:70's Music]]
  • Save the page

That’s it – if you go back to the 70's Music page, you’ll see that the Bee Gees page is now there, listed under the B.

You can also create subcategories the same way, exactly as you would create folders inside folders. This is best explained with our Bee Gees example.

Let’s say that the list of 70's Music keeps growing and growing and you want to order the Bands by Genres to easily find the bands, and the Bee Gees should go in a Category called Disco. Here’s what you do:

  • You type into the searching bar Category: Disco
  • As the category does not exist, you will be shown a red link. Click on it.
  • You will have an empty editor. Write this line and save the page.
[[Category:70's Music]]

This way, you have created a subcategory called Disco, which is contained on the parent category 70's Music. But it is empty, you want to put the bands that belong there into it.

  • Look for the Bee Gees page again, edit it.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and change the WikiSyntax and save the page:
  • Now the Bee Gees page is where you wanted it – in a Folder called Disco that is inside of a bigger Category called 70s Music.

You can, of course, create as much sub categories and categories as you want. But here’s a couple of advices that you should keep in mind:

  • Try to think in advance how you are going to structure a category and its subcategories. This will save you lots of time when assigning pages to them and will help you avoid confusion. A good way to achieve this is using with pen and paper and drawing a diagram!
  • You can always change the category a page belongs to, and any page can belong to any number of categories you assign it through the WikiSyntax.
  • All subcategories and pages created inside a Category are automatically shown alphabetically on the Category Page, so try to avoid signs like speech marks or numbers on the Titles unless is necessary in order for the order to be correct.
  • Eventually, if you want to put things in chronological order, like with timelines, you can write the year at the start of your title and it will be displayed chronologically.
  • You can look for categories the same way you would look for a page; just remember to add “Category:” at the start of your search query
  • Before creating a new Category, ALWAYS CHECK if there is a pre-existing category that meets your needs, or the category system will become redundant fast and end up being unusable. To check for the pre-existing Categories, go to our Category List to see a list of all Categories that are available in our wiki.

How to rename a page[edit]

It can happen that a page is created with a wrong name or a typing mistake, or that two different pages should be merged into one and need to leave a redirect into one of them. You can do this through the “Move” button.

The Move option will appear close to the Read/Edit/View History Tabs on the upper right, close to the search bar. You will find a small black triangular icon there, click on it and you should be able to see the Move button (if you are an Administrator, you will also have the option Delete and Protect there). Click on Move to be redirected to the Move Page.

The first drop-down menu will let you choose in which Namespace will the page be moved to. It is by default Main, and if you are not 100% sure of what you are doing, you should leave it there. The nest field lets you type in the New Name you are going to give the page.

The third field would let you state the reason why you are moving a page or changing its name, which can be useful for the community. You have also two checking boxes, the second one is self-explaining, but the first one is important. If you leave it marked you will change the name of the page, but the old name will still be on the system, which means that other users will be able to look for it and find the new page. It is also interesting to leave redirects behind if the page you are moving was heavily linked in the wiki, because links redirecting to the old name will be left broken if you click on them. I’ll explain this with an example:

You find a page called “Angela Merkel”, which is already link in a lot of other pages (like Germany, or Presidents of Germany or European Union, to say a few). The page is fine, but it should be actually called “Merkel, Angela” to fit our Style Rules. If you change the name and leave a redirect behind, any user who click on the Angela Merkel links on pages like Germany, Presidents of Germany and European Union will be shown a redirect page informing them that this page has been moved to “Merkel, Angela” and redirect them to it automatically. If you decide NOT to leave a redirect behind, it would left broken links in Germany, Presidents of Germany and European Union, and users who follow that links are going to be shown a red link and the possibility to create the page again, what would mean that we could end up with various pages for Angela Merkel with different contents, and that is not practical for the wiki.

Once again, leaving a redirect page or not it is left to your judgment, so try to be wise about it.

Adding Links[edit]

There are two types of links you can include in a wiki: link to existing pages IN the wiki and links to pages OUTSIDE the wiki. From the point of view of the WikiSyntax the difference is minimal – an internal link will be placed between TWO SQUARE BRACKETS and will not contain any URL, looking like this


An external link will be placed in SIMPLE SQUARE BRACKETS and will contain a URL, like this


Adding them through the link-button on the Editor is very simple and the programm works on our advantage: if we paste an URL on the first field, the program will automatically recognize it as an external link to the page, and we can specify the text that is going to be linked to that URL. Done!

If you want to link to an existing page or category IN THE WIKI, you type in the title of the page or category you want to link to. The field is Case Sensitive, so keep that in mind, and it will also Autocomplete. Start typing and it will tell you which existing pages you can link it to. Choose the one you are looking for, specify in the second field which text should be linked and insert it. If the page does not exist, you can still insert the link, but it will leave a red link on the page, so that you or another user can create the page for that link afterwards.

We urge every user of our wiki to add external AND internal links to the page they are reading or editing – this process takes time and can be tedious, but it is exactly what will make our wiki useful and interesting. So please, if you are contributing with new pages, think about linking them – this will help other users find your pages and will enrich the usage of our website.

Uploading Files[edit]

Before posting an image in page or uploading one to our server please be sure to read our Legal Terms and check if you are allowed to do so without having a conflict with copyright laws.

As it was mentioned before, to link an image into a text you need to upload it to our server. Right now only image files can be uploaded, and they should not be bigger than 30MB. Also, not all formats and sizes are allowed (.tiff is known to give problems, and the system won’t accept pictures bigger than 1920px), but most common files like .jpg and .png are allowed.

Uploading files is pretty easy to do – just click on the “Upload Files” button that you will find on the sidebar and you will be redirected to the uploader. There you click on Browse System to open up your file manager, find the image you want to upload, give it another name and write a summary about it if you want to, and click on upload.

To later add a picture to a page it is very important that you remember the name of the file you want to link, otherwise you’ll just leave a red, broken link. Once again, this is best explained with an example.

You want to add a really cool picture of the Bee Gees to the article you wrote about them.

  • First of all, you need to upload it, so you click on the Upload Files link on the sidebar.
  • You browse your system, find it and click on it.
  • Let’s say the picture was called “BeeGeesLookingCoolOnADarKAlleyIn1975.jpg”, which might be a little long. You decide that in the wiki, the name of the picture should “Bee_Gees.jpg”, you type that in (of course, if you want to use the long name, you can do it)
  • Save the file
  • Now go to the Bee Gees page and edit it.
  • Decide where you want to put the picture and click on the Add Image button
  • The new window will pop up.
  • Write the exact name you gave the file. That is “Bee_Gees.jpg” – NOT Bee_Gees, NOT Bee_Gees.png, etc.
  • Select the aligment, size and frame and insert it.
  • If the name you typed in was correct, the picture will show up, if the name was incorrect, a red link will be left behind.

Adding Pdfs[edit]

Right now it is not possible to upload pdfs to our wiki. But if the pdf is hosted on another server or webpage, it can be very easily inserted and read in a wiki page.

To do this, you just need the URL of the Pdf you would like to link and paste it in the place you want it to appear on your page, placing it between two pdf tags, like this:


Once again with our lovely Bee Gees – you want to add a pdf of an interview you found on the Rolling Stone Magazine:

  • You go to the browser and copy the URL of that Pdf.
  • You go to the Bee Gees page and place the cursor where you want the pdf to appear.
  • You write the two pdf tags and copy the URL betwenn them, like this:
  • Save the page and the pdf should be displayed, like this:

Concerning the PDFs – some systems, especially iOS and LINUX do not always work well with pdfs. It can be that if you are running these systems you need to install further software or extensions to your browser to be able to see the pdfs pasted on a page.

Before posting a PDF pelase be sure to read our Legal Terms and check if you are allowed to do so without having a conflict with copyright laws.

Adding Video and Audio files[edit]

Before posting a video or audio file please be sure to read our Legal Terms and check if you are allowed to do so without having a conflict with copyright laws.

Although it is not possible right now to upload videos or audio files into our system, it is no problem embedding videos form a large number of sources, between them the most common like YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion and others.

The syntax to do this can be checked here:

or here: